The Sopranos creator David Chase was annoyed when audiences actually wanted to see the main character, Tony Soprano, die in the series finale.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, Chase revealed that he did not expect the reaction The Sopranos series finale received, which infamously cut to black on June 10, 2007. “Yeah, nobody said anything about the episode. No, it was all about the ending,” Chase said of the HBO series, often considered to be one of the greatest television shows of all time. What bothered him most, however, was not the massive response, but was audiences wanting to literally see Tony die on screen. “That bothered me,” he said. “They wanted to know that Tony was killed. They wanted to see him go face-down in linguini, you know?”
He continued, “And I just thought, ‘God, you watched this guy for seven years and I know he’s a criminal. But don’t tell me you don’t love him in some way, don’t tell me you’re not on his side in some way. And now you want to see him killed? You want justice done? You’re a criminal after watching this shit for seven years.’ That bothered me, yeah.”
During that same interview, Chase finally revealed Tony Soprano’s fate in the finale — the eponymous mobster did, in fact, die when the screen cut to black to the sound of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” and that the idea came to him two years before The Sopranos ended. “I was driving on Ocean Park Boulevard near the airport and I saw a little restaurant,” Chase said. “It was kind of like a shack that served breakfast. And for some reason, I thought, ‘Tony should get it in a place like that.’ Why? I don’t know.”
Created by Chase, The Sopranos premiered in 1999 and ran for six seasons before the series finale in 2007. Chase’s most recent project, The Many Saints of Newark, on which he served as an executive producer, premiered in theaters and on HBO Max in October. The prequel film follows a young Tony Soprano as he begins his descent into the New Jersey mob scene in the 1960s and ’70s, and deals heavily with the 1967 race riots. The film stars Michael Gandolfini, son of The Sopranos star James Gandolfini, who portrayed the adult Tony Soprano for all six seasons of the HBO series.
Early in October, it was reported that Chase had signed a massive, five-year deal with WarnerMedia to create content for HBO, HBO Max and Warner Bros. Pictures Group. At the time, it hadn’t yet been confirmed whether Chase would be creating create Sopranos-related content. However, it was recently confirmed that Chase and WarnerMedia were in talks to bring a Sopranos prequel series to HBO Max.
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